By Lynsey Eaton | Photography by Danielle Sabol
I’ve been listening to this book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life on Audible. Let it be known that I’m supposed to be reading for our book club, but instead have been evaluating the things I choose to care about thanks to this writing.
After I got past the first chapter (which used the word f*ck so often I got distracted from the message), I settled in and got to evaluating my priorities. How I let certain things bother me. Where my anxieties come from. What it means to hustle and how I define success.
I can’t recap the whole thing here, but in effect it serves as a wake-up call to realize that being happy is not the same as being the most successful, exceptional human of all-time. That comparison is the thief of joy. That life isn’t going to be easy, nor is it supposed to be, and that’s OK.
There are so many times over the last few days that I’ve brought up points made by this book, notes on evaluating what types of hardships we are willing to go through and redefining what success means to our happiness metric. If that all sounds like hullabaloo, I hear you. But I’d recommend reading the book.
When I quit my job as an attorney, I remember people thinking I was nuts. That I had achieved this sense of success and I was giving up on it to start something frivolous (to them). Oh, and I was making less money.
But here’s the kicker: I was happy. Finally.
I’ve always said that happiness is worth more than societal defined success, that focusing on your mental well-being should be your number one priority. I don’t follow people on the internet that make me think negative thoughts, I stopped working at a job I hated even though society told me I should love it and I wear makeup only when it makes me feel good to do so (i.e., not because I feel like I have to).
Zero fucks given.
I’ve always sort of loved on the people I loved, worked hard on the things I cared about and given fully of myself to causes that I think are necessary. That said, I am also a human being. I fall down rabbit holes and get caught up in the comparison circle. But I don’t want to. I’ve never had a metric for that and this book has given me one.
So while I’d love to sit here and chat with you about my new sunglasses (they are Celine and I’ve been dying for them for ages), I’d rather recommend this book. Because just in case you are out there defining happiness by Instagram’s not-so-attainable standards, it might give you some perspective. It certainly did for me.
It serves as a wake-up call to realize that being happy is not the same as being the most successful, exceptional human of all-time. That comparison is the thief of joy. That life isn’t going to be easy, nor is it supposed to be, and that’s OK.